Monday 8th September 2014
The Chesterfield Ale House is around three quarters of a mile to the west of the town centre. It is a rather deceiving pub in a visual sense as it is much larger inside than it appears from the street.
I also think it creates a record in another way as it has three levels. A few of the micropub species have a room on a second floor but this place is a little different.
It was a sunny day as Linda and myself entered the pub, she had walked there and I had caught a bus from the town centre.
On the lower level I looked around and saw that there was bench-type seating around two of sides of the room faced by tables and loose chairs. There are number of framed paintings and a large mirror on the walls.
Then it was a climb of five or six steps to the bar room. That description is possibly going a bit too far as it is in reality a small room with a bar, but what a bar. I’ll detail the beers on offer below. I imagine that the space in front of the bar is the focal point of the pub as it is here that you have be to get a drink; there is also some standing room at this level. Upstairs is another room with comfortable accommodation including armchairs and upholstered seating. This is where you will find the main toilets.
For a micropub the beer list is very impressive with there normally being six on at any time. When we visited it was as follows: Stancil (Sheffield, South Yorks) American Pale Ale (3.9%); Empire (Slaithwaite, West Yorks) Planet of the Hops (4.3%); Acorn (Barnsley) Helga (5.0%); Shiny (Derby) 4Word (4.5%); Lincoln Green (Hucknall, Nottinghamshire) Quarterstaff Stout (5.0%) and Liverpool Organic (Liverpool) Josephine Butler (4.5%).
If anything the cider menu is even more impressive. The following were offered with cider listed first: Chant’s (Midsomer Norton, Somerset) Badger Spit (7.5%); Lilley Cider Barn (Frome, Somerset) Sunset (6.0%) and their Pigswill (7.5%), a cider/ perry blend; Broadoak (Clutton, Somerset) Moonshine (7.5%); Burnard’s (Banham, Norfolk) Slide Blues (5.5%) and their Three Sheets t’ Wind (6.0%); Heck’s (Street, Somerset) Port Wine of Glastonbury (6.5%) (a single apple variety); Gwatkins (Abbydor, Herefordshire) Silly Ewe (4.5%) and their Game Cock (4.5%) and finally Rich’s (Highbridge, Somerset) Legbender (6.0%).
In addition to all this there was also Gwynt y’ draig (Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales) Two Trees Perry (4.5%) and Broadoak (Clutton, Somerset) Premium Perry (7.5%). That’s a very creditable twelve different! All of the ciders and perries were displayed on a blackboard that that listed then in style; i.e., Dry, Medium and Sweet, with the bits in between. I would say this is very useful and should be copied in other pubs.
The pub first opened its doors on 13th October 2013. The inspiration for it came from Trevor Maris, Karen Hall along with Alun and Andrea Waterhouse, who picked up the idea from a visit to the Little Chester Alehouse in Derby (please see separate article on this excellent pub).
In virtually no time it had picked up its first award in the form of CAMRA Chesterfield Spring Pub of the Season 2014.
They serve wines and Gale’s alcoholic fruit wines. Also offered are Fentiman’s (posh) soft drinks. Obviously there are the normal pub snacks such as nuts, crisps and scratchings. Pies feature heavily with three types usually available: Pork, Pork & Stilton and Huntsman (Pork, Chicken & Stuffing). There is free Wi-Fi and take-aways can be had.
Lots of reasons to visit this excellent pub.
The Chesterfield Alehouse, 37 West Bars, Chesterfield, Derbys., S40 1AG. Tel: Unknown.
Open: Monday-Sunday 12.00-22.00
Buses 84 and 90 pass the pub and pass through the centre of the town. There is no bus station in Chesterfield. The railway station is about 10 minutes walk from the central area.